The Walkerville Weekly Reader

National Desk: Hard-hitting journalism from your completely un-biased (pinky swear!) reporters in Walkerville, VA.

Walkerville, VA
Monday, April 22, 2024
Carolyn Purcell, Editor

Double jeopardy is double silly, say Brits

Britain considers removing ban on double jeopardy to allow multiple prosecutions when the government knows they’re right.

Saying that “when the prosecutors know they’re right, they should be able to keep trying,” the Home Affairs Committee proposed removing the ban on double-jeopardy proceedings in the United Kingdom.

Currently, criminals cannot be tried more than once for the same offence. But often, says the Home Affairs report, “the state can amass evidence over time, while the defendant’s witnesses die or their memory fades.” The report found that the state can often successfully try a criminal a few years after the first trial, “once everyone forgets the criminal’s lies about aliases, motives, and propensities.”

They also considered streamlining the process and allowing judges to “keep sending jurors back until they get the right verdict.” According to Tory leader William Hague, the idea came from an innovative seventeenth-century procedure in the United States. “When, during the trial of poisoners and extra-perceptual child molesters in Salem, Massachusetts, the jury returned ‘not guilty’ verdicts, they were sent back to reconsider their decision.” Hague said that the tactic was a “smashing success, and all EP child molesters were eventually hanged.”

A spokesperson for the police Superintendents’ Association said that the proposal was good, but not great. “It doesn’t go far enough,” said senior police officer Increase Mather. “The removal of double jeopardy only applies to serious offences, such as murder, rape, or going to raves.”

Mather recommends extending the proposal to remove double jeopardy for all crimes, including traffic offenses. He also stated that while the juror reconsideration proposal was well-intentioned, “the real solution is to remove juries completely. We probably don’t even need judges. The prosecutor knows who is guilty and who isn’t.”

Mather also proposed that “the best solution is to let the police officer decide. If we were able to convict and punish criminals on the spot, we could vastly reduce crime in the United Kingdom.”

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